Minaret message to Muslims in Europe:
Swiss people have voted: They do not want minarets in their
landscape. The first reaction from the European establishment was
condemnation and indignation, and then slowly, other voices are
coming to the fore. The reality is that the Swiss have simply told
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) welcomes and commends the
excellent work carried out by the Open Society Institute in
producing their report, Muslims in Europe: A Report on 11 EU Cities,
says a statement issued by the council.
The report is the first comprehensive
set of studies to look at needs and aspirations of Muslims across 11
EU cities, and its findings convey a structured series of
recommendations for achieving common goals for Muslims and
The MCB statement says, contrary to the usual media sensationalisms,
stereotyping Muslims as being a community that "live parallel or
segregated lives", the report's findings clearly highlight that
Muslims have a strong sense of belonging to a city or a nation.
Muslims in the UK top the table for
being the most patriotic and in identifying themselves as British.
However emphasis is given to the need to tackle rising
discrimination and prejudice that exists against Muslims.
The report highlights many areas of concern where much work needs to
be done to ensure equality for Muslims, particularly women within
the workplace. Similarly, the situation for young Muslim men and the
"discrimination and unfair treatment" they face at the hands of the
authorities cannot be left unattended.
The MCB supports the recommendations
made in the report and encourages individuals, groups, and leaders,
whether local or notional, to take an active role in promoting and
implementing sustainable delivery programmes.
Secretary General, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said of the report, "This
is a fine example of what we should be doing to explore the best
ways of collaborating with one another. The substantive
recommendations from the report only go to strengthen the idea of
working towards shared interests and goals for the betterment of
society as a whole."
"Muslims and non-Muslims together form
the fabric of our nations, and I sincerely hope that leaders and key
influencers across the UK and Europe take note of the suggestions
and begin in earnest the process of bringing communities closer
together", he added.
"With general elections just around
the corner we in the UK have a prime opportunity to work together
and build upon the efforts already being made by many organisations
including the MCB to address the issues raised in the report. The UK
should be proud that we have the most diverse make up of Muslims in
Europe; if there is enough will from all quarters we can lead the
way in our work towards greater community cohesion and
understanding", he said.